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Suffolk: New-look trains set for debut next year on Greater Anglia line

08:46 17 April 2014

Disruption on mainline train journeys

Disruption on mainline train journeys

Refurbished InterCity trains on the main line between London and East Anglia should start entering service early next year – and should be fully operational by the end of the extended franchise in October 2016.

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Welcome for train improvement proposals

Passengers heading to London from Ipswich have welcomed the news that trains to the capital are to get a fresh new look – but feel the improvements are long overdue.

Geoff and Angie Ashton from Rushmere St Andrew near Ipswich were heading to the capital with their daughters Melanie and Kelly for a day out.

Mr Ashton travels to London about twice a week for work, and felt the improvements could not come soon enough.

He said: “That is very good news – it’s about time. The trains on this line are not very good compared with other parts of the country. If they’re going to do all that work then it should be more comfortable on the trains.”

John Franklin from Woodbridge travels to London almost every day, and also welcomed the news about the improvements to trains – he was particularly keen to hear that more seats would be provided.

He said: “The number of people travelling continues to increase, the 7pm train is dreadful. It is good that more seats will be provided, but will there be shorter trains and more crowded trains while the work is taking place?”

The carriages are getting new seats, lighting, and carpets. Wi-fi connections will be improved and power points will be installed at seats. The toilets will have tanks fitted so they no longer flush on to the tracks.

Catering carriages will be converted so they have more standard class seats for passengers.

Greater Anglia has 119 InterCity carriages, and the work will mean a number are being converted at any one time – but there should still be enough carriages available for full trains to run on the main line.

Jonathan Denby from Greater Anglia said: “Passengers should notice a significant improvement. They should be more modern and there will be more seats on trains with the changes to the catering vehicles.”

The refurbished carriages are expected to remain in service until 2019 or 2020, by which time the new long-term franchise will be well under way and either new trains or a major upgrade of services will be in the pipeline.

The electric locomotives have already been refurbished – and if Network Rail improvements to the main line permit its speed to be increased to 110mph the trains would be able to run faster.

Mr Denby added: “This is a very significant upgrade of the service and comes after considerable work by councils, MPs and others who are keen to improve services in this region.

“We would not have secured such significant improvements during what is a short-term franchise extension without this local pressure.”

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10 comments

  • Disgusted and shocked that in this day and age toilet waste is dumped on the track! This might have been acceptable until about 30 years ago. How can this be tolerated today?

    Report this comment

    Steve Blake

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

  • It's a silk hat on a pig. Lipstick makes no sense and is in fact weird!

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    Lee Davies

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

  • We're supposedly getting close to the end of carriages being withdrawn for outside refurbishment (i.e. which really means branding to Shambellio Greater Anguish colours, yet another coat of paint!). Now once they're all back, they start taking them out again to refurbish the insides - what clowns. Why not do it all at once, or wouldn't the taxpayer cough up then? Make no mistake, this is all paid for by fares and taxpayer subsidy so why do they treat us as idiots with this sanitised spin? This is almost Cut and Paste from what National Express said years ago when they inherited these old BR carriages from Virgin. "Putting lipstick on a pig" is dead right T Doff.

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    Disbeliever

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

  • Great to read, but there is no mention of any improvements in the 'areas' that take luggage or wheelchair space. It seems to be the idea of 'dress up the sardine cans' and everybody is happy.

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    Neil Nield

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

  • Refurbished trains for 'second class' Suffolk ! 'Out in the sticks', out of mind !! 'Tractor Boys' !, country yokels !!

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

  • The stations will continue to deteriorate above eye level. Nothing is painted or maintained above that height.

    Report this comment

    John Alborough

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

  • "but there should still be enough carriages available for full trains to run on the main line" They aren't running full trains at the moment

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    Angry Commuter

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

  • These trains have had so many coats of paint, I'm surprised they can get through the Ipswich tunnel.

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    m01

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

  • Its all good, except there is a greater chance of not getting a refurbished seat... having to stand and admire the refreshed seats that someone else is sitting on. I am sure the trains themselves wont look any newer than they are now - especially from the outside.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

  • If the trains don't run on time, or at all, then this bit of modest refurbishment, albeit welcome, seems akin to "putting lipstick on a pig".

    Report this comment

    T Doff

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

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